The Irony of the Cross, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe who takes away the sins of men.
¹ Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged.
² The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe
³ and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
⁴ Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.”
⁵ When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”
⁶ As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”
⁷ The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
⁸ When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid,
⁹ and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer.
¹⁰ “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”
¹¹ Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
¹² From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”
¹³ When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha).
The Irony of the Cross (19:1–5)
While the Jewish religious leaders are decidedly against Jesus, Pilate, a Roman official, is still conflicted about what to do with Him. Deep down, Pilate knows that Jesus is no ordinary man and certainly not a criminal who deserves to die. There are many people who have deep convictions about who Jesus is, but because they live in a culture which is hostile to the gospel, they continue to deny Him. We who believe in Jesus must boldly and humbly stand for the truth. We must also pray for those who oppose the gospel—that God will change their hearts and open their eyes to see Jesus for who He truly is.
What are the dominant views and opinions about Jesus Christ in your community? How will you pray for those who do not yet know Him?
Delegated Authority (19:6–13)
Pilate thinks that Jesus is at his mercy, but Jesus knows better. Whatever authority Pilate might have has been given to him by God; it is a delegated authority that he is obligated to use responsibly. Jesus is not a victim of circumstances whose fate is in the hands of a Roman official. Rather, He is the One who has willingly subjected Himself to the cruel and unjust systems of the world in order to save sinners. If only they would recognize Him as their Savior! Likewise, we should never take our God-given opportunities for granted but always seek to discern God’s will and ask Him for the courage to accomplish it.
How has God called you to serve Him in your community? What are some of the greatest fears you have as you serve the Lord?
Dear Lord, grant me the courage to proclaim the truth, even before those who have already made up their mind about You. Help me to use whatever opportunities and resources You have given me for the advancement of Your kingdom and the glory of Your name. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Do not forget this: The Irony of the Cross, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe who takes away the sins of men.